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Full text of "To The Lighthouse"


Lily repeated, turning back, reluctantly again, to
her canvas. Heaven be praised for it, the
problem of space remained, she thought, taking
up her brush again. It glared at her. The
whole mass of the picture was poised upon that
weight. Beautiful and bright it should be on
the surface, feathery and evanescent, one colour
melting into another like the colours on a
butterfly's wing; but beneath the fabric must
be clamped together with bolts of iron. It was
to be a thing you could ruffle with your breath;
and a thing you could not dislodge with a team
of horses* And she began to lay on a red, a grey,
and she began to model her way into the hollow
there. At the same time, she seemed to be
sitting beside Mrs. Ramsay on the beach.

" Is it a boat? Is it a cask? " Mrs. Ramsay
said. And she began hunting round for her
spectacles. And she sat, having found them,
silent, looking out to sea. And Lily, painting
steadily, felt as if a door had opened, and one went
in and stood gazing silently about in a high
cathedral - like place, very dark, very solemn.
Shouts came from a world far away. Steamers
vanished in stalks of smoke on the horizon.
Charles threw stones and sent them skipping.

Mrs, Ramsay sat silent. She was glad, Lily
thought, to rest in silence, uncommunicative; to